The Choice of the New Latin American Middle Classes: Sharing or Self-Caring
- 31 Downloads
The Options for Claim-Making
With the growth of the middle classes throughout Latin America we also witness growing discontent and protest. The same has happened in Asia, Africa and even Europe (see the other contributions in this issue). More welfare and freedom is apparently accompanied by more demands towards governments, as well as equally more disappointments. Sassen (2013, pp. 125–126) explains this by pointing to the fact that the middle classes have been the main beneficiaries of the liberal welfare state. Now, however, ‘they are protesting against the state because the state is failing them – “austerity politics” is one important manifestation of this failure’. The question emerges: Is the increase in protests in Latin America really related to the growth of the middle classes? And if so, what would explain this dissatisfaction?
For some it is an easy explanation: Middle-class people simply want a steady and ‘good’ job that allows them to build their career and that of their...
I would like to thank Jürgen Wiemann and Alan Fowler for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article.
- Banaji, S. and Buckingham, D. (2013) The Civic Web: Young People, The Internet and Civic Participation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Bebbington, A. (ed.) (2012) Social Conflict, Economic Development, and Extractive Industry. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Dagnino, E. (2008) Civic driven change and political projects. In: A. Fowler and K. Biekart (eds.) Civic Driven Change: Citizen’s Imagination in Action. The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, pp. 27–50.Google Scholar
- Pleyers, G. (2010) Alter-Globalization: Becoming Actors in the Global Age. London: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Somma, N.M. (2012) The Chilean student movement of 2011–2012: Challenging the marketization of education. Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements 4 (2): 296–309.Google Scholar
- The Guardian (2014) Inequality is stagnating in Latin America: Should we do nothing? 27 August.Google Scholar